December 30 - 1932: Prohibition-era rum runners gun down two men in Hyannis

Osterville man dies, Cotuit man seriously injured
A Prohibition cartoon of the era.

1932: State Police laid the slaying at the door of rum runners on Cape Cod

On this day in 1932, state and local police conducted a widespread search for gunmen suspected of killing one man and critically wounding another outside an empty garage in Hyannis.

The slain man was identified as Franklin Bearse, 30, of Osterville, according to a story published Dec. 31 in the Lowell Sun. Manuel Rebello, 29, of Cotuit,  was wounded in the burst of shotgun fire that struck the two men as they approached the garage.

"State police laid the slaying at the door of rum runners they believed had been using the garage as a storage place for liquor-laden trucks," the Sun reported. "The structure stands about 100 yards from the main highway in a rather isolated section a mile west of Hyannis."

Within a year of the incident, one of many such violent episodes fueled by the illegal sale of alcohol, the 18th Amendment that began Prohibition was repealed with ratification of the 21st Amendment on Dec. 5, 1933.

Scholars estimate that consumption dropped to a low of about 60% of pre-prohibition levels around 1925, rising to almost 80% before the law was officially repealed.

The Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) on right were major supporters of  Prohibition.

Read more about Prohibition here.

Read about "Everything Else Which Happened Today" including in 1731 when the first music concert was held in the United States in Peter Pelham's great room in Boston.

This is the earliest authentication of a concert of musical instruments held in North America.


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